Being in an accident with a semi-truck or 18 wheeler is terrifying. If you have been in an accident with one of these commercial vehicles in Arizona, you need an experienced Phoenix semi-truck accident lawyer who will gain the right compensation recovery you need for your injuries and other damages.
As citizens, we all hear about passenger car accidents on the news. But it is rarer to hear of accidents involving semi-trucks or 18 wheelers. These accidents are usually more serious because the commercial vehicles can carry more than 10,000 pounds. The truck itself, including the weight of the load, often exceeds 80,000 pounds. Passenger vehicles are only about 3,000 pounds. So it is easy to see how one of the bigger vehicles can be extremely damaging in an accident with the smaller ones. When a big rig is carrying hazardous cargo, the risk of death and massive injuries increases.
Due to the catastrophic damage these vehicles can cause in an accident and the life-changing circumstances of resulting injuries, you need an aggressive Phoenix car accident lawyer. Your law team at Cantor Injury Lawyers will fight to gain the highest possible settlement for your injuries.
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Recent Statistics of Semi-Truck Accidents
The Insurance Institute of Highway Safety released statistics of semi-truck accidents in 2014. These statistics reported that more than a half million trucks were in major accidents. In these accidents, over 3600 people died and tens of thousands were injured. As the number of trucks on our roads increases, so do the number of accidents, fatalities and injuries. Since 2000, however, there has been a decrease of semi-truck accident fatalities, with 30 to 40 percent fewer deaths. Fatalities from semi-truck accidents in 2009 were at their lowest since 1975.
Compensation for Your Truck Accident
When a passenger car and a semi-truck collide, there is always someone at fault. In your accident with a semi-truck, if evidence points to the other driver as being at fault in causing injuries or death, it is possible to receive compensation. Accident injuries and other damages, such as pain and suffering, medical expenses, lost income and other damages are considered toward the settlement or jury awarded compensation.
Do I have a case?
For your legal claim to be considered a truck accident by lawyers, the truck involved in your crash must have weighed at least 10,000 pounds. You or your loved one must have suffered injuries, death or property damages for a claim to be viable. When the accident is caused by one of the parties, they are said to be at fault. The at-fault truck driver may be required to pay compensation if the following criteria are met:
- The other driver was reckless or negligent through deliberate acts, in causing the accident
- The victim suffered injury or death in the truck accident
- The victim is owed compensation damages due to their injuries
The biggest hurdle in this type of case is that of proving negligence. There are multiple ways to do this. These include use of police reports, witness testimony, photographs and other evidence. If necessary, expert witnesses may also be called in to add strength to your case. If the truck driver was under the influence of drugs or alcohol, DUI evidence can be used in court.
If you are unsure whether you have a case, contact the legal professionals of the Cantor Team. They will help you sort through the evidence for the legal advice you need.
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Why Arizona Truck Accidents Happen
There are unlimited reasons why Arizona truck accidents happen. One of these is the semi-truck colliding with other vehicles. There are typically many circumstances and factors to blame in a truck accident, such as the driver not using safe driving skills or following the law. Speeding is one major cause of semi-truck crashes, like any other type of motor vehicle accident. Not obeying signs or signals, making unsafe turns, failure to yield to oncoming traffic and unsafe lane changes are other causes of semi-truck accidents. Exhaustion, intoxication, reckless driving, faulty loading and insufficient training for semi-truck driving are all other causes of these wrecks.
Because semi-trucks are large and massively heavy, driving them recklessly makes them more lethal. A big truck driver must have quick reflexes, react fast and be on high alert when behind the wheel. But many Arizona truck accidents are caused by the driver’s error. When a mistake is made by a semi-truck driver, they have much more vehicle to regain control of and their response time is inhibited by the size.
Semi-truck drivers are prone to experiencing fatigue. This can be a big problem when it comes to driving a semi. Because of the amount of time they spend behind the wheel, truck drivers become desensitized to the road and easily doze. They are prohibited from driving more than 14 hours in each 24 hour period. They are also prohibited from more than 60 hours of driving within seven days. After seven or eight days of driving, truck drivers must rest for 34 hours. That said, it is common for trucking companies to look the other way when their drivers break these laws to meet demand.
Another frequent cause of semi-truck accidents is equipment failure. Trucking companies are required to maintain their vehicles through routine checks. They must inspect truck brakes, tires, lighting, engine, hitch, chassis and fuel lines. Negligence is usually involved when a truck accident occurs due to equipment failure. But it is also possible for the equipment failure to be from poor road conditions or faulty road design. Road condition may be to blame for the accident when the road is not properly maintained. The government may be responsible for this type of accident, when it occurs.
Unfortunately, DUI is common with truck drivers, as it is for other motor vehicle drivers. Being under the influence of alcohol, narcotics or prescription medication is sometimes why accidents occur.
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Injuries in Trucking Accidents
Trucking accident injuries are usually serious, if not fatal. When victims survive the accident, they are usually disabled or incapacitated through paralysis or brain injury. The most commonly experienced semi-truck accident injuries are:
- Traumatic brain injury, such as when the head hits other objects or when the brain is jostled within the skull through whiplash
- Spinal injury, including injuries to the lower spine or neck that often lead to total or partial paralysis
- Back injury, often from herniated discs and requiring years of physical therapy
- Burns, disfiguring the body and causing excruciating pain
- Fractures, cuts and bruises, usually accompanying other major injuries
You Need Experienced Legal Representation
When a semi-truck accident injures you or your loved one, it is urgent that you gain legal representation and start your claim. Although not all accidents lead to viable legal claims, you need a lawyer’s perspective about your own potential case. Cantor Injury Lawyers emphasize representing victims of semi-truck accidents, those involving 18 wheelers in Arizona. Call us now at 602.254.2701 or use our simple online contact form for a free, no-obligation case consultation.